Staff Reporter

Central team to report to Ministry of Shipping

mv Black Rose sank with huge quantities of iron ore and furnace oil

Centre gives nod for legal action against owner of the vessel

BHUBANESWAR: A high-level Central team on Saturday visited Paradip to analyse the impact of reported oil spill from a sunken vessel along the State’s coast.

The team led by P. V. K Mohan, chairman of the National Shipping Board, took stock of the situation and discussed with authorities of the Paradip Port Trust. It sought information over salvage operation. The team is expected to submit its inquiry report to the Ministry of Shipping.

The mv Black Rose, owned by a Singapore-based company, sank on September 12 with 24,000 tonnes of iron ore and about 924 tonnes of furnace oil near Paradip port. There was a hue and cry over the issue with environment activists terming the incident dangerous.

They said it would have huge ecological repercussion especially on fish population and endangered Olive Ridley turtles would come under immense pressure.

Salvage operation

Meanwhile, the PPT would commence a full-scale salvage operation on Sunday. “A team will go underwater and take photographs of the sunken vessel. The exercise will be to identify oil leakage. If any hole is traced, we will immediately take action to plug it,” said Biplab Kumar, deputy chairman of the PPT.

Sources said the Centre had already given its permission to initiate legal action against owner of the sunken vessel for latter’s non-cooperation in salvage. Since the vessel was not insured and the owners had submitted a forged insurance document, P&I Club was not forthcoming in clean-up exercise, the PPT had said.

Expressing serious concerns over sinking of the vessel, the State government too had sent a team of environmental engineers from the Orissa State Pollution Control Board. The team had found oil spill.

Greenpeace India, an environment pressure group, had demanded that the government force the vessel owners to abide by the Polluter Pays Principle, and hold them accountable for damage to the environment, for economic losses in the area, and for the expenses of the clean-up.